Master of Arts in English Program in Creative Writing

The Master's in Creative Writing and Literature prepares students to be poets, novelists, essayists, short story writers, reviewers, editors, and teachers. One of the department's largest and most vibrant tracks, the program offers creative writing workshops in every genre, and features individualized attention from highly published, award-winning faculty. In addition to taking writing workshops, creative writing students receive both a broad and specialized education in the traditions of British and American literature.

The Visiting Writers Program

Each year the Visiting Writers Program brings to campus nationally and internationally known writers. Recent visitors include Antonya Nelson, Charles Baxter, Dan Chaon, Ted Kooser, E. Annie Proulx, Patricia Hampl, Bret Lott, Barry Lopez, Michael S. Harper, Michael Cunningham, Yusef Komunyakaa, William Kittredge, Ron Carlson, and Mary Karr. These writers give public readings and lectures, visit classes, and read and discuss student works in individual tutorial sessions.

Opportunities for Editorial Experience

Students in the Creative Writing track also have the opportunity to serve on the editorial staff of Touchstone, K-State's annual literary journal.

Alumni

KSU creative writing students have gone on to publish highly acclaimed books and to win prestigious awards such as the Flannery O'Connor Prize for Short Fiction (Debra Monroe for her book, The Source of Trouble); the National Poetry Review Book Prize (Bryan Penberthy for his book, Lucktown); the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry (Derick Burleson for his book, Ejo: Poems, Rwanda, 1991-1994); the Crab Orchard Poetry Prize (Amy Fleury for her book, Beautiful Trouble) and to edit prominent literary journals such as Cimarron Review, North American Review, and Gulf Coast. Current and former graduate students have recently published in excellent literary journals such as The Paris Review, The Georgia Review, Quarterly West, Mid-American Review, Nimrod, and New England Review. In addition, KSU students have won national acclaim during their graduate careers as winners of the Intro Journals Project sponsored by the Associated Writing Programs. KSU M.A.s are routinely accepted into the nation's finest terminal degree programs (both M.F.A. and Ph.D.) that emphasize creative writing. In recent years, KSU Creative Writing M.A.s have accepted tenure-track or other full-time teaching positions at more than a dozen institutions across the country.

Financial Assistance and Awards

Financial assistance available to incoming M.A. students includes teaching assistantships and graduate school fellowships, and the Seaton Fellowships in Creative Writing ( our Creative Writing students are also eligible for non-graduate school fellowships). For more information about financial aid, go to the Frequently Asked Questions about Graduate Studies page.

Workshop Atmosphere and Community

Our creative writing workshops sometimes include students from our four other M.A. tracks (literature, composition and rhetoric, cultural studies, and children's literature). However, we deliberately limit enrollment in our workshops to no more than fifteen students. Our workshops are demanding, but their atmospheres are congenial and supportive.

Overall, we have an active, supportive community of writers both in the university and the surrounding area. A local art gallery regularly sponsors poetry readings by our students, for example. Manhattan is located in the Flint Hills, a green, hilly section of Kansas with the Kansas River and two large lakes nearby. Less than ten miles away, the Konza Prairie is the largest remnant of tallgrass prairie in the United States. The town itself has about 50,000 residents, not including the 20,000 students at KSU.

Creative Writing Faculty

Elizabeth Dodd teaches creative writing and literature. Her latest book, In the Mind’s Eye: Essays Across the Animate World, appeared from University of Nebraska Press in September, 2008. She's also the author of Prospect: Journeys & Landscapes, which appeared in 2003 from University of Utah Press and was winner of the William Rockhill Nelson Best Nonfiction Book Award.; two collections of poetry, Like Memory, Caverns, which won the Elmer Holmes Bobst Award from New York University Press in 1992, and Archetypal Light, published by the University of Nevada Press in 2001; and the critical book The Veiled Mirror and the Woman Poet: H.D., Louise Bogan, Elizabeth Bishop, and Louise Gluck (University of Missouri Press, 1992).

Dodd publishes frequently in the field of ecocriticism, with essays on James Wright, Terry Tempest Williams, Michael S. Harper, as well as other topics. She is on the editorial board of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. Dodd has twice won the Stamey Award for outstanding teaching from KSU's College of Arts and Sciences, and she has twice won the Kansas Arts Council's Fellowship in Poetry.

Daniel A. Hoyt teaches creative writing, with an emphasis on fiction, and his academic interests include contemporary American fiction, the short story, the work of Charles Dickens, and interdisciplinary courses. His short-story collection, Then We Saw the Flames, won the 2008 Juniper Prize for Fiction and was published by the University of Massachusetts Press (2009). Dan's creative work has also appeared in The Kenyon Review, Indiana Review, Quarterly West, Meridian, and other literary magazines. From 2004-2010, Dan taught at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, and in 2009, he won an Individual Excellence Award in fiction from the Ohio Arts Council. In the 1990s, Dan worked as a journalist at newspapers in Missouri, Wisconsin, and New York. He cheers — simultaneously and without regret — for the Missouri Tigers, the Kansas Jayhawks, and the Kansas State Wildcats.

Katherine Karlin's fiction has been anthologized in The Pushcart Prize and New Stories from the South, and her stories have appeared in One-Story, ZYZZYVA, North American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and many other journals. She is a fiction co-editor of the journal 42 Opus, and a recipient of the Moses Fiction Prize and the Marta Feuchtwanger Fellowship for research on the political novel. Her dissertation, "Alewives and Factory Girls," examines representations of women at work.

Emeritus Faculty

Jonathan Holden is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Poet-in-Residence at Kansas State University. A poet/critic, Dr. Holden's work includes The Old Formalism: Character in Contemporary American Poetry (U. Of Arkansas Press, 1999) and Knowing: New and Selected Poems, University of Arkansas Press, 2000. Dr. Holden has won numerous awards including the Devins Award for Design for a House (1972), The AWP Award for Leverage (1982), The Juniper Prize for The Names of the Rapids (1985) and The Vassar Miller Prize for The Sublime (1995). Dr. Holden has received two fellowships in Creative Writing, from the National Endowment for the Arts, one in Poetry ($5,000) and one in Creative Nonfiction Writing ($20,000). In 1997, his Guns and Boyhood in America: Memoir of Growing Up in the 50's, was published in the University of Michigan's Poets-on-Poetry series. In the year 2000, Holden was, with Anthony Hecht and Mary Karr, one of the three judges for The Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. His most recent work is a memoir, Mama's Boys: The Search for Identity of an Identical Twin, with Lewis-Clark Press. He is currently revising his final critical book On Moral Poetry.

Creative Writing Blog

Learn more about the Program in Creative Writing through its blog.

For More Information

For application materials or for other information about the Creative Writing Program or the Visiting Writers Program, contact:
Dan Hoyt, Director
Creative Writing Program
Department of English
108 English/Counseling Services Building
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-6501
(785) 532-0384 Office
(785) 532-2192 FAX
E-mail: danhoyt@ksu.edu